Friday, October 23, 2009

empathy

WARNING: This post will likely be ponderous--maybe even rambling. You have been warned.

Today on NPR, a scientist reported that studies of animals show many more instances of empathy than of greed. In fact, this scientist was proposing that today's animals have survived evolution because of their empathy, not their greed. Take, for instance, a mother monkey. When her child screams out for attention, she responds--mostly because her child might die if she doesn't.

As an expecting mother, I have thought long and hard about the kind of mother I want to be and the kind of environment I want to create for Henry (the baby's name--I sure hope he looks like a Henry when he comes out). As a human, I have a bit more wiggle room when it comes to responding to my baby's cry. Essentially, I have fewer predators to deal with.

But then again, do I? My main goal as a mother is to teach Henry TRUTH. And I know a lot of un-truth exists in the world. So maybe I won't have to deal with predators who will kill my child physically, but I will be dealing with a lot of predators who could kill my child spiritually (and emotionally). And I wonder what the warning signs will be? Certainly, I can be empathetic to a cry, but what are the signs of Henry latching on to un-truths? And will I see them in time? And how will I respond?

It turns out I don't have all the answers (sorry to disappoint), but I am comforted by the fact that I am armed with the SOURCE of truth. I plan to use that source as my first line of defense (or attack, as necessary) to envelop Henry in truth. Truth that will set him free.

3 comments:

Christina and Timothy Sederberg said...

your going to be such a good mom!

Kari Jo said...

Deep.....but very much like the Trish I know. And Henry will benefit much from it :)

Emily said...

Such great comments, Tricia! You're going to be a wonderful mother, as evidenced by your thoughtful comments. I agree wholeheartedly with what you've said. Being a mother has made me VERY plainly aware of all of my shortcomings and limitations, particularly when it comes to keeping my kids away from things that appear unsafe. And, just like the stove that looks very alluring when hot, my kids need to know that many untruths, though, alluring can ultimately burn them and leave them scarred. I have never been more aware of my need to have the Spirit in my life than I am now, largely because I want to keep my kids as safe and informed as I possibly can. It's amazing how the responsibility of guiding another person's life can make you crave the Spirit.